A gathering of ideas, rants, reflections leading up to the big day
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Like the last time he went away on business, he has hidden cards and treats around the house. Everyday when he calls it is a treasure hunt to find the next card. I packed him some goodies too (chap stick, sudoku books, cards) and as much as I love the cards, this girl needs a hug.
I'm sure I sound pathetic, especially to Golightly who has what, 35 days?, till her deployed Cowboy comes back after months and to all those in long distance relationships. And I am pathetic, but I just want to see my friend again. I want him home and safe.
Basically the 100 push-up challenge is to build up your strength to be able to do 100 push-ups after training for 6 weeks. Sweet. Imagine how hot my arms are going to look!
You can read all about the system on the 100 push-up page, but I did my initial test on Monday and I eeked out 9 push-ups. ugghh. I'm supposed to "rest" a day between, so I did "Day one" today. The rest is totally necessary, cause I was sore from doing NINE push-ups. Dana said she had spaghetti arms, I second that. This morning, I did Day one, which had me do 30 push ups! I did 5 sets of 7 to 5 push ups each, with a minute rest in between. I feel okay now, but I am sure my arms are going to be aching later!
I read here that a 40 year old woman should be able to do 16 push-ups. I'm 31 and I can do 9. Awesome. I'm going to kick this challenge's ass. So Dana, you're on! Kate- lets do this. Anyone else in?
Update: it has now been 1.5 hours since I did 30 push ups and I am ready to rip my arms form their sockets.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Two weeks ago I invited Mel and Jenn over for some paper flower making fun! I bribed them with food and they came with chic flicks!
In just a few short hours we made 50 flowers! We took some photos that day, but my instruction photos vanished into digital camera world. But today Jenn came over and we made another 30 flowers and we filled in the instruction photos.
I buy all the supplies from the Mexican party supply store (think Michael's squished into your closet). The supplies you need for paper flowers are:
1. Crepe paper sheets (not rolls)
2. Thick floral wire
3. thin floral wire
4. Floral tape (optional)
I also use : scissors, scotch tape and pencils (for shaping).
Step one: Cut your sheets of crepe paper into 1/3 or 1/4 depending on how full you want your flowers to be.
Here is the paper cut into 1/3 of a sheet.
Step 2: Once it is cut to size, shape your sheet. Above I am rounding the sheet to make a rose.
Step 3: Unwrap the sheet and you have a long sheet of paper. I cut it in half, to then form two flowers.
Step 4: Take a pencil or pen for shaping and round one "petal" in, roll the next out, alternating how you roll the petals. Please ignore the chins.
Step 5: Make a funny face. I like to tape the edge of the paper to the wire for extra security. Then you scrunch the paper. I am making my scrunch the paper face complete with sound effects.
Mostly scrunched, see the flower?!
Step six: wrap the thin floral wire around the base of the flower and partially down the stem.
Step 7: wrap wires with floral tape.
This is the batch we made a few weeks ago! Funny enough, the three of us all have distinct styles and call recognize our own flowers!Here is Mel with one of her flowers (and yes that is a pound puppy on the couch).
And Jenn with one of her flowers! The running joke was that Mel's flowers were all very tight and Jenn's were all wide open. Yes it was a very giggly afternoon!
Pretty Pretty! We are getting together again on Saturday to make more flowers. We'll be doing some brighter colors: blues, pinks, reds! Once we have the 150 done, We'll separate them into complementary bunches of 8 to 10 to be placed on the tables.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Now on to our regularly scheduled post:
I am so excited! Fi has been gone for 5 days! WOOT! I've been living it up, let me tell you! I go to bed at 9:00pm without anyone teasing me! I called 10 times for "Last Comic Standing" last night and no one made fun of me. I ate dinner (can you call a pound of brie dinner?) in my skivvies, on the couch at 8:30 and no one said a damn thinking about it!
I am looking forward to this weekend, except for a run on Saturday morning, I have no where to be. I am going to veg out, do some wedding details, eat decadant food and just enjoy the silence.
I am a solitary creature by nature. If it weren't for Fi, I'd be living a life of solitude. I was never really a girl who figured she'd be married until Fi walked into my life. We've been living together for 4 years, before that I had been living on my own for a while, no roommates, just me. Don't get me wrong, I truly appreciate Fi as a life partner, it is nice and comforting knowing that there is someone to chip in around the house and someone to help cook dinner. Someone just to be with.
However, for these last 5 days and for the next 8, I will be happy to return to me. I don't know if someone famous or wise said this but I find great importance in being able to be by yourself. I think everyone should be able to sit, meditate, just be with themselves and be comfortable. I will relish that this weekend. I can be selfish and eat whatever, watch whatever and keep the AC in the house at whatever I want. I am also going to take a tip from Golightly and enjoy a no electricity Sunday this weekend. One day I'll turn off the tv and the radio and focus on my knitting or on a wedding project or maybe just me.
So, blog readers, enjoy your weekend, I know I'll enjoy mine!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Here is my latest and greatest inspiration board. I am really proud of this board. One reason I love this board is out of the 17 pictures, only 2 images or still "inspiration" the other 15 are reality! (click to enlarge)
Top Row: Paper flower from Mexico, invitation teaser, tux, my std, Fi boutonniere
Second row: JCrew BM dress, my earrings, the Z, dessert, our cake topper
third row: more flowers from Mexico, flowers made by me and my ladies, my shoes
bottom row: a piper, my bling, Z backyard, my bouquet (minus the succulents)
We only need to secure a tux and the bridesmaids need to purchase their dresses. I still have flowers to make, invitations to mail and details to attend to, but this board is MY wedding. wow! I love the life, color and fun in this board. Obviously there are plenty of things not included on this board (how do you express a ceremony in a photo?) that I haven't addressed on this blog (there will be a few surprises the day of!) but this is my wedding!
But here's the kicker. Fi's last name was in the news many years ago. It is a name that is recognizable for a newsworthy event. A not so flattering newsworthy event.
That is not the reason I am not changing my name. I am not changing it for a variety of reasons. However, here is the common scenario:
Person: Are you changing your name?
Person: What is you fiance's last name?
Me: Newsworthy last name.
Person: Oh, No wonder you aren't changing it!
Me: No, no, that's NOT why.
Person: (dumb look about them)
Me: I'm not changing it due to the fact that I have earned my degree with MY name and because my first name is Jennifer and if you ever had to sit in 7th grade biology as one of 8 Jennifers you'd understand that my last name is my defining name and because I am a feminist (sort of) and I decided in 6th grade not to change my name and I 've been published and I was once ranked as a Scrabble player and even as an adult I work with two other Jennifers and its a hassle and................
Trust me, my decision has nothing to do with his name. It hurts me that most people assume I am not changing it because I am shallow. If I was that shallow, would I even be marrying him?
If we have a family our children will take his name, the dogs will take mine. I am not opposed to his name in any fashion. I just am not going to change mine.
Fi is cool with it, his parents are cool with it (not that if they weren't I would care), my parents are honored by it. But I hate having to justify my decision to people. I want to pull out my diary I wrote in from 1988-1990 and show them my decision as a child to keep my name. I want to show them the school papers in which I changed my middle name to my mom's maiden name so I could be hyphenated and honor my mom. I want them to see that this decision was made before I met my man.
Sometimes I think about changing my name, just to show the world I am not shallow, that I am not embarrassed. But then I remember: I'm not changing it. I don't want to.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I'm talking about a decision I have made regarding my own wedding. Perhaps just as shocking as Blablover's decision to wear her glasses, I have made a decision to wear my hair short! (shock and awe people, shock and awe).
I was engaged 16 months ago. I had short hair then (above the chin). 16 months later I still have short hair (at my chin). However I get asked on a weekly basis if I will be growing my hair out. Come on people, if I was going to wouldn't I have long locks by now!?!
I was blown a way by these recent photos on Snippet & Ink. Look at this gorgeous short haired bride.
These photos kind of make me want to cut my hair even shorter for the wedding! As a reminder you can see my wedding hair here.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
From what I can tell it will be a well of info for brides: vendors, shops, etc.
One of the frustrating wedding planning scenarios I come across time and time again is hunting for Tucson vendors. The local knot board stinks for recommendations and our few and far between local bridal publications often feature more Phoenix area info than Tucson. Really if I wanted a make-up artist from Phoenix, I'd move to Phoenix. EAD Library so far has only one Tucson listings (in my brief research, and they one they have I gave them!) but they do have some Phoenix area vendors. I did notice that the library did have a listings for non-metro areas (specifically the south) so hopefully some local brides will get a boost from this!
I will be doing my part by suggesting my vendors to EAD to list on their site.
Go check it out.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I have found myself saying "After the wedding" a lot lately. Some friends asked us over for a get together, I declined, but lets do so after the wedding. My grandpa asked when I was coming to see him. My reply, "after the wedding". I came up with a great idea for a book that I am going to pursue- after the wedding.
Why is it that the one day that marks the beginning of the rest of my life has stunted the rest of my life?
In some areas it is practical, like my spending habits. I look at a dress and unless I can justify for a wedding related function, I don't buy it. Same with shoes, running clothes, books and yarns. That has been helpful and I've learned to maybe manage my money better than before.
Same with salt and vinegar chips. I love salt & vinegar chips. But I am slimming down and working out, so those chips? They can wait till after the wedding.
But my life? Can I really put myself on hold till after the wedding? Part of society has put me on hold too. I can't enter in a conversation with someone without wedding stuff coming up. So clearly my views on Iraq, the election, oil prices and the NBA draft will become clear to me- after the wedding.
I have no children, but I can now sympathize with the stereotypical haggard mother who just wants to talk to an adult. Not that I don't love my wedding blog friends, but the reason I HAVE wedding blog friends is so I can talk to my pre-engagement friends about something other than weddings. But is this a case of the chicken and the egg? Do I talk about wedding stuff so much that's all anyone can talk to me about?
The sick part of it all is that I can't even picture what after the wedding will be like.
I have tried to be pro-active. I've kept up my volunteering. I am going to begin coaching a women's running group (the same one that I signed up for 6 5ks, 3 10ks and a half marathon ago!) and I am still knitting gifts for friends any time I get the chance. I try to ask about a friend first, or check in with people with non-wedding related news.
This last week though I snapped. Hard. I said to myself, in a moment of rage and tears and feeling lost, "after the wedding". I am now justifying to myself that maybe I'll be "normal" again after the wedding.
All I can hope for is that after the wedding I'll be married to my best friend and I can pursue that book idea.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
So when it came down to actually selecting a wedding shoe- well, these were in the front. Luckily for me they come in an ivory and a blue. If you recall, I had written previously that I wanted a shoe with color. So without further ado, I present to you my wedding shoe. (did I mention they were $32 with shipping?)
Please ignore the old pedicure...and the shoes in person are more navy than shown here.
Also please ignore the cankles*, it has been humid in the desert lately. Do notice the perfect 2 inch heal. Perfect for dancing the night away, kissing my man who is 8 inches taller than me and giving the booty a bit of a lift!
cankles: A phenomenon that occurs in humid weather or to pregnant woman in which the ankle and the calf join together. Cankle.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
In addition I just bought this:
I bought this charm (printing will be in black) from Etsy seller HomeStudio. A few things about the charm. The quote is from WWII and I am very quick to frazzle, so I love the reminder that I will hold in my hand!
Second the quote is on a Scrabble tile. A little known fact about me. I was once a competitive Scrabble player! I participated in tournaments for about 7 months, but the realized Scrabble wasn't fun anymore for me. In fact, I haven't played it in years, but I did rank as high as 637 in the world. I know, I know not only are you impressed, but you are jealous too!
Anyhoodle, I loved this little Scrabble tile for a couple reasons and am looking forward to attaching it to my bouquet!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Until the guests get them I will only provide you with a teaser:
Yup, thats copper! I cried when we got engaged. I teared up when I found my dress and when I got my ring. I cried when I saw my invitations. Thank you Miriam!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Not only was Todd able to retrieve files from the dead computer, Jenn lent us an external hard drive AND a laptop until we can buy a new one! Luckily Jenn is a geek (in a good way) and understands that we just don't want to jump in and buy a computer before Monday, which is when Fi leaves the country for 2 weeks.
So I haven't looked at our retrieved files yet (I was a little geeked out by the time we got home last night) but fingers crossed that the guest list isn't corrupted! Thanks Jenn & Todd!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Today is a tutorial on Bridesmaid, numero uno. Melisa. A note first: I have no maid of honour. It was becoming painful to decide, so I figured why should I decide! So I have 3 bridesmaids.
Back to the matter at hand: Melisa.
I met her in December of 2001. Okay, so it was New Year's Eve, but it was still December and it was still 2001. We hit it off like gangbusters. The first night she and I really hung out, we stayed out all night long.
You ever have those friends that are always just there? That's Melisa. She is the mothering type, always having advice and band aids when you need them. If you have to cry, you call her. Two of the scariest times in my life have been when Melisa has called me crying. She is so strong, it was a shock to hear her cry and I knew things were bad.
A few years after we met, she introduced me to my Fi. For that she rocks. I can never repay her, although I try to find contact information for the esoteric Broadway singers she has crushes on, but to no avail.
She was the first person I told about my engagement to Fi, not that she didn't see it coming!
Melisa saw me agonizing over my decision about who to ask to be my MOH, she backed down gracefully and said she just wanted to be there for me, no matter what the role. Well shucks.
The best thing to date is an email I received from her shortly after I asked her to be my bridesmaid. I was a list of her "Bridesmaid Pledge" to me. Here is a sampling:
I will not accuse you of “bogarting” the free champagne during said bridal dress expeditions.
I will be organized even when you are not.
I will make sure one of your brothers ensures your father’s fly is zipped; and vice versa.
I will find a tasteful and easily hideable flask for wedding-day/morning emergencies.
Okay, see why she rocks?! I am so happy she'll be there with me that day, and even more happy that she's been my friend for 7 years! We've had some bumps, but we always make it. She is my best friend who introduced me to my life partner. That is awesome.
(no pictures, sorry, but you know, the computer is dead)
My computer crashed. The hard drive is dead. This means a few things. It means I have lost my inspiration board and thousands of pictures. It also means that my guest list is gone. The guest list that Fi and I have labored over for a year to get it to the perfect state it was in. It is gone. Yeah, I have the addresses on a back up, but not the most recent version of the list. F.
This also means that I have no computer on which to recreate my guest list, except at work. Fi is traveling for work starting on Monday. So we are going to have to buy a new laptop before Monday, or maybe not. Grrrr. Grrr. Grr.
After 45 minutes of crying last night, I think I have calmed down a bit. But it still stings and it still sucks.
Monday, July 14, 2008
We were happy to learn that Dillard's carries tuxes. Um, make that tux. We went to one Dillard's to buy a suit recently (my man be styling) and we were told by our awesome sales dude that the other Dillard's location in the old pueblo carries tuxES. He said plural. My Fi went on Sunday while I was running a sweat shop in our home (more on that later) and found out that the other location, they carry ONE tux. For $600. ouch.
So to MW Tux we go. My Fi isn't a huge fan of the Men's Warehouse family, but MW is having a sale, so off we go.
I'm hoping the tux will make him look like this:
Friday, July 11, 2008
I picked just one of my nieces to be our flower girl due to ages, as their ages are: 7 years old, 21 months and 5 weeks. The 7 year old won.
Lucy is an only child, born to my eldest brother. She is the funniest person I know. Her first word was "duck". When she was 3 she asked if her middle initial, "G", stood for Goose. It doesn't. When Lucy was 4, everyone came to spend Easter in the desert with me. My dad rented a big van, you know, like a church van. It was known as Grandpa's bus, dubbed by Lucy. To this day, when we have to squeeze in a car, she asks "why can't we just take Grandpa's bus?".
When she found out Fi and I were getting married, she called me. This is how the conversation went down:
Lucy: AJ (she calls me AJ, short for Aunt Jenn, cause we are hip like that) AJ, you know sometimes at weddings there are flower girls.
AJ: Really? (stifling a laugh)
L: Yes. And those flower girls get to wear pretty dresses.
AJ: Do they?
L: Yes. And Aunt Jenn?
AJ: Yes Lucy?
L: I just want you to know that I am available.
I let the situation sit like that for about 9 months. Then at Christmas, before the engagement party my parents threw for us started I gave a Lucy a card asking if she would be our Flower girl. She literally shook with excitement.
Sometimes throughout this planning process I get more excited for her than for me. This is cool, I always wanted to be a flower girl. I never was. Maybe when Lucy gets married, I can be her flower girl. This is the perfect age too. She is engaged in the process. She came to a shower. She asks questions about the flowers she will carry and helped to make the decision not to toss petals ("cause really AJ, someone will just have to sweep them up!"). But the creme de la creme for Miss Lucy was the dress. Lucy wanted that I provide some suggestions, so I sent her an email (via her mom) with 5 choices. I got an email back with 20 other suggestions. I narrowed those choices down to 3 and yesterday her mom ordered this dress for the wedding:
I think Lucy may look cuter than me! She will carry a bouquet of white and ivory roses with some green accents. Her bouquet will be tied with a pink ribbon. It'll be the only pink at the whole wedding, but she was very disappointed I didn't choose pink or purple as a wedding color, so she'll get her own touch of pink!
I can't wait to see her again and watch her excitement about this event!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
First I wanted easy peasy nice and easy escort cards. Business card size, names hand written with a table number underneath. Simple yet chic, no?
Then I wanted something fun, incorporating my paper flowers. Adding a tag to the flowers and that would lead guests to their table. But that got confusing.
Then I went back to the simple escort cards.
Until yesterday. I saw Miss Pineapple's post about her escort cards! Now I don't want a tree as she is using, but i love her use of copper.
Have I talked about our use of copper? My Fi's family is a copper mining kind of family. His grandpa worked in the copper mines of Arizona. His dad and uncle put themselves through college working in the mines during the summers. So we are sneaking in some copper into the details (more to come). Fi will have copper in his boutonniere. It'll be there. But subtly.
Then those escort cards came along. The instructions on the post seem easy enough, just time consuming. Do I have enough time? Do I want to do this? I could just use a copper colored pen.
hmpff. Ideas? Suggestions? Any one want to make these for me? Linda you get married soon, how about when its all done, you make these for me, mmkay?!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I found the online instructions online here and my mom bought tulle from JoAnne's. We had some trouble visualizing the instructions and ended up not following them to a T, but we cut out the tulle to make a beautiful ivory double veil, fingertip length.
My mom had bought 2x as much tulle as we needed ($6.50 total) and we started by cutting it in half, so we had the correct size to work with. Then we were left with 2 pieces that were (approx)36 by 75 inches. We folded the tulle in half the long ways and the cut out a rounded edge at the bottom. My mom's dining room table had the perfect rounded edge so we followed that as a template. Because tulle is so light, I held it taught as it would be easier to cut.
Then we pulled the top layer up, about 4-6 inches and found the center. See my poor illustration from paint:
See how the edges are rounded? ;)
The center will be where we place the comb. The bellow illustration is how it will look (roughly!):
I loved how full it look held up next to my head and it hit right where I wanted it too! Go mom!We headed back to Joanne's and bought some beads to embellish it and my mom is going to do a rolled hem on the sewing machine and hand stitch some of the beads at the bottom. Below a photo of a rolled hem. Although my veil is ivory, so it won't look aqua!accessories. So I'll be looking for a basic comb that my mom can sew the veil on to. I think I'll start at CVS and make my way over to Sally Beauty Supply. Any suggestions on plastic versus metal?
oh and thanks mom!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
1. Write the title to your own memoir using 6 words.
2. Post it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who tagged you.
4. Tag 5 more blogs.
I have really, really thought about this and this morning, I finally came up with a title I am pleased to present:
"The Feminist's Daughter: Pursuit of Balance".
Not that my mom is a raging feminist, nor my dad. But both raised me during a great wave of woman's lib and I grew up with the motto: you can do anything. This has really provided me with a struggle in my life. Knowing that I can do anything, well that is a blessing and a burden if you ask me. So, my life has been a pursuit of balance, in that regard.
So now I must tag five others. Sorry if I have tagged you before, but these five are five I am really interested in learning their title!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Here I am with "the church ladies" as I call them, all my mom's home girls from church. All but two are making the 1000 mile trek to the wedding!
I got a lot of loot of the registry, but all were conscience of me traveling home, so I got a bunch of packable things. I also received my first naught bits gift. Three cute Lacy boy shorts in my school colors (wildcat pride!).
I met most of these woman when I was 13, so it was fun to be with them as a grown up. They all reminded me of my feminist days in church, when I refused the female lead in the church play because it was sexist. (I did accept it the next year and rocked it out!). They reminded me of my exclamations as a youth "no marriage", "I will never change my name" (I'm sticking to that one!), "no babies"....man at 16 I was not only verbal but very opinionated!
I am still finding showers and celebrations in my honor humbling and embarrassing. I guess these days I no longer want to be the center of attention. I also missed Fi terribly even though we were only really apart for 2 full days. Pathetic, right? When he travels for work at the end of this month for THREE weeks, it'll be a shock to the system!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
My parents and I have relived that tragedy together, weeping and cursing together. But then we moved on and have had a joyous time. My mom and I made my veil this morning, after my dad and I took a 3 mile run. I played with my pooch, we swam in the neighborhood pool and we've drained bottle upon bottle of wine. I love my parents and are thankful to them for their contribution to this wedding, and the union between Fi and me.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
But a trip home would not be complete with out a little wedding celebration! My mom's pals (who are all invited to the wedding and are ALL coming) are throwing me a shower on Saturday. One of the ladies made a cute Southwestern themed invitation for me!
It should be a nice time and I am looking forward to spending a few hours with the women in my mom's life. I'm sure I'll have a nice wrap up when I get back on Sunday!
Happy 4th of July!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
But my poor groom just had his first wedding disappointment. The beer, his favorite beer, won't be at our wedding. His beer is only sold in Mexico. In fact the brand prides itself on only selling it in Mexico, but not near the border. We love this beer. We bought this beer in the airport in Mexico City before we even got our taxi. We had this beer for breakfast (seriously), lunch and dinner. My last day in Mexico City I had tired of this beer, not FI, he had several more at the airport before we left. My Fi is one determined dude though. He tracked it down only 4 hours south of the border town we live near by contacting the distributor. He called the grocery store where he found it, placed an order. He called customs to see what the tax would be (3% not too shabby!). Then he spoke to Arizona branch of customs. Arizona is the only border state that limits the transport of liquor. He could bring in one 6 pack at a time. When he heard that news, you could still see the wheels turning. Drive to Mexico through California? One six pack at a time per person, we have lots of friends...so....
Then he gave it up. He let the dream die. He moped around a bit. He has a co-worker that will be traveling to the town in which the beer is sold and will be bringing Fi back a 6 pack. He'll save it and drink it at the reception, he'll be happy. But I know he wanted to share it and introduce it to our friends.
Its been sad seeing him become disappointed about something regarding our wedding. He has been so hopeful and excited, even when I am discouraged and weepy.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
At first all we did was run
Then it was clear you were fun
Sushi and Mexican we started to eat
After we ran with our group from Fleet Feet.
Tuesdays and Saturdays we see each other.
Soon I talked to you more than my mother.
Planning and dreaming, hoping and wishin'
You always listen and for details you'd be fishin'.
Our friendship began while pounding the pavement
Which coincided with my marriage engagement.
Guidance, patience and laughter you give away free
Always having time to listen to me.
You'd think that our standing 6:00am date
Would be enough and on our nerves we'd grate.
But after 100s of miles
And billions of smiles
A new true friend I've come to love.
Our personalities fit like a glove.
It doesn't stop there, my ode to Jenn
Because the best thing ever -she did just then
A "day of coordinator" she's offered to be
At my disposal for me, me, me!
I've asked my best friends Melisa and Amy
With Fi's sister and my pal Jaime
To be my bridesmaids-to stand by my side
But right there with us, along for the ride-
Jenn, My new friend for life
Watching me become a wife!
* my apologies to the Creative Writing Department at Kansas State University. I have not forgotten about rhyme or meter or any of the other lessons I learned while obtaining my Creative Writing degree. Potential students, please do not judge the department by this poem.